Monday, March 26, 2012

RBMA: Why You Should Apply

7 more days. 7 days are what are separating 60 participants from a 2 week stay in NYC in 2012. As many of you know, the Red Bull Music Academy in settling in NY, NY this fall and will descend onto the media metropolis with the near folkloric fanfare that has been well documented. So, as we round the last corner, take the last turn before the April 2nd deadline, after the countless Red Bull Music Academy sessions across the world, we count down the last 7 days with 7 reasons why you should apply to the Red Bull Music Academy. LET’S GO.

The Music

“It’s the music stupid!”. Paraphrasing Bill Clinton, The Red Bull Music Academy is all about the music. Just think of the days you had a stroke of genius, but found yourself heading to work w/ 1/2 a bagel in your mouth, running for the subway. #Fail. Or the day you figured out this prodigious chord progression, then realized the voice in your head was a customer complaint at your desk job... Le sigh. At the Red Bull Music Academy, you’ll have time to work on nothing BUT music. You have a sudden stroke of ingenuity? You’ll likely be near or IN the studio and will be able to hit your instrument of choice. Stuck on a musical passage?? Maybe one of the numerous engineers in charge of helping you along will help you bridge the gap - be it Mark Pritchard, Marco Passarani, Todd Osbourne, Robin Hannibal, or maybe even past grad Hudson Mohawke.
Let alone the human capital, you’ll have the opportunity to work with some of the best, latest and most sought after pieces of gear, and record in of the many studios which will be made available to you nearly 24/7 - unless someone else is in it. All of it will culminate in the Various Assets double disc which will come out some months after, in a pseudo musical dissertation.
Bottom line, music will be the myopic focus of the 2 weeks at The Red Bull Music Academy.

The Lectures

This is obviously my own op ed, but I personally think the music and lectures at the Red Bull Music Academy could actually be a 1 and 1 prime. That’s how important I consider the lectures to be. We’re all music fans, and if you’re not moved by being in a small room with 29 others, listening to Arthur Baker talk about how Planet Rock came about, or Bob Moog’s stirring statement about the role of music in a community, Jazzie B’s chat about how an intern at Def Jam called Bobby Konders may have been the key to breaking the band in Amaerica, or being in a room with the REAL MF DOOM, shiny mask with corrected lenses and all... The lectures are such a signature of the Red Bull Music Academy, I could sit all day and watch them like Jeffersons reruns.
But in all seriousness, the Red Bull Music Academy picks and chooses the lecturers so that you may hear about their come up in music, their travels, and maybe learn from their life experiences.
The twice daily lectures and lecturers will be there to inspire you every step of the way, whether with their description of life accounts or of past tuneful deeds. You’re quite often privy to particulars that no Pitchfork, Fader or Fact mag interview could ever deliver, with the opportunity to interact in a public or even private conversation afterwards, to get even more details... #priceless. Let’s not forget the world class moderators: Egon, Chairman Mao, Emma and Benji B...


You’re going to be surrounded by all sorts of ppl at the Red Bull Music Academy. You’ve sat through some lectures, you’re going to some events, meeting some press, and festival curators, and of course the multitude of middle men, all of which seemingly make this eco sound system work. But they all play important roles: getting you the exposure you’ve sought out, because you’re work IS the truth.
Ask Flying Lotus who met Kode9 innocently in 2006 at the Melbourne edition and they’ve remained close ever since, and even arranged a release on the Hyperdub 5 year anniversary compilation.
Ultimately, you’ll have the opportunity to spend 2 weeks with some esteemed music ppl from across the globe and they’ll be able to help you in some way shape or form in your endeavors in this landscape - whether touring, recording, press and everything in between.


The shows that will be taking place at the academy will be the highlights of the retreat: From having a Global Communications reunions, to having RZA performing in a movie theater, or rawking in a secret location and a live broadcast w/ Boiler Room.
Of course, whilst at the academy, you’ll have an opportunity to perform in front of crowds from 100 ppl to 3000. Many will gather to come to shows you’ll be billed on, opening for some of the very ppl you’ve looked up to in your careers. Ask someone like Exeter (Red Bull Music Academy Madrid 2011) who went from working at a brewery one week, to opening for Aphex Twins the week after. Ya. Aphex Twins. It may actually have been his 1st show ever in fact...


You’re going to forge some great working relationships from your time working, but you’ll also create some lasting friendships from your 2 weeks at the Red Bull Music Academy. Yes, you’ll record with the ppl around you, creating magnificent music, but you’ll also have magical memories all shared with the participants you spent 2 intimate weeks with. When the Red Bull Music Academy is all done, all 30 of you will go your separate ways, but it won’t end there. You’ll now have 29 couches to surf on around the world - how dope is that?? lol.

Post Grad Life

You’ve had 2 awesome weeks at the academy, played your heart out, produced, picked up some amazing tips for mixing and mastering, sat through some inspiring lectures and made some fantastic friendships. But what now??
Well, maybe you’ll have more opportunities for shows as someone saw you perform. Maybe you’ve been targeted by a label about releasing some music after they heard your Various Assets tracks. Maybe the Red Bull Music Academy liked your performance so much, they’ll fit you in on one of their several stages they curate around the world - and they’re numerous. You can join the local teams like Lunice, Ango and Exeter all did, performing and talking about the Red Bull Music Academy across Canada. Maybe a participant you worked with at the Red Bull Music Academy got signed and was so enamored with your work, is calling you to commission an official remix or collaboration. Imagine that. Ask Hudson Mohawke, Anenon (JG, where's my ticket?), Fatima, Jamie Woon... the list goes on.
There will be some great opportunities to further your career with a future so bright, you might have to wear shades. ;)

The Food

For the fortunate who’ve been able to sit through 2 weeks or Red Bull Music Academy life, the food will be prepared by chefs and will be some of the finest foods the host city will have to offer - every day. From day break to late nights, there will be not a worry about being fed at the Academy. In fact, so of us used to joke about it being the Red Bull Culinary Academy as there was so much of it, and it was soooo good. ;)

If that’s not enough... UGH. But if it sounds good, you know the drill.

APPLY. You have until April 2 2012. Good luck.



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